AUGUST 28, 2019: World’s Strongest Man winner Eddie Hall tamed the new super rides at Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent today when he performed the official opening of the ‘Tornado Alley’ zone.
The only man in history to lift half a tonne officially declared the complex open by throwing himself down the adrenaline-pumping new rides – the tallest and fastest of their kind in the country.
The new rides, towering up to 16.5 metres above ground level, are:
Thunderbolt: The fastest and steepest, reaching speeds of up to 39kph. A heart-pounding plummet for adrenaline junkies! Reviewers have described it as ‘the most high-octane water slide in the country’.
Cyclone: This one is classified as ‘medium to severe’, and can be ridden on either a one or two-person raft.
Stormchaser: The longest of the four new rides, also classified as medium to severe, designed for single or two-person rings.
Hurricane: To be ridden feet first, lying on your back – if you’re brave enough! This one is classified as ‘severe’.
Waterworld owner Mo Chaudry said: “We believe the rides on our top platform are the highest in the UK – and Thunderbolt is also the fastest.”
Eddie Hall said: “I’ve been coming to Waterworld since I was seven years old, and this has always been a fantastic place for me. Now I’m all grown up and bringing my own kids here too.
“It’s nice to see Mo expanding the place, making it even better and giving something back to the public – bringing some real excitement to Stoke on Trent.
“Mo’s done a brilliant job to make sure the rides are exhilarating, and provide brilliant entertainment. It’s a fantastic place.
“That Thunderbolt ride is quite scary. You’ve got to have some bottle to get on it, and you fly down – particularly when you’re someone with my weight. I guess I’ve made sure it’s safe for everyone else, though!”
The four new rides were opened to the public for the first time at the end of last week, and Bank Holiday Monday proved to be the busiest day in Waterworld’s 30-year history.
Mo Chaudry added: “The opening of these rides marks the end of a mammoth construction project, and the first stage of a huge new era for Waterworld which cements our position as the UK’s number one indoor tropical aqua park.
“In addition to the new rides, we are expanding our outdoor pool area, and have already completed a major upgrade of lockers and changing facilities.
“We also intend to refurbish, theme and expand the existing upper decks and use some of the new build space to provide food and beverage areas with seating and lounging – so that up to 1,500 people can enjoy seeing the action in the waterpark in a relaxed environment.”
Work is also well under way on a two storey extension which will soon house a new M Club spa and fitness facility including an indoor sprint running track, children’s soft play area, and Adventure Island Mini Golf attraction.
Mo added: “This all adds up to the biggest single investment in Waterworld’s history, creating new jobs, and providing work for local contractors.”
Waterworld already generates £13 million of economic benefit to the local economy every year, according to economic impact research by Staffordshire Tourism.
Around 300 tonnes of steelwork have been used to create the new £12 million-plus extension – including more than 21 tonnes to build the giant stair tower to the new slides.
The project has provided work for around 30 different trades, as well as creating new jobs at Waterworld.
Andrew Broad, of Staffordshire-based Broadstaff Construction, said: “The scheme has provided us with an amazing opportunity to perform a key role in the development and delivery of what is a landmark building and facility within the local area.
David Morrey, managing director of the project’s architects, Hulme Upright at Newcastle-under-Lyme, added: “This has been an incredibly exciting project.
“Co-ordinating all the elements of a construction task on this scale has been an immense challenge, but it has all been worthwhile.
“This latest expansion really establishes Waterworld as a genuine national leisure attraction, and Mo’s continued investment is great for the area.”
Mo has been masterminding the growth of Waterworld since 1999, when he took over the previously loss-making operation from The Rank Group and turned it into a thriving and profitable business.
Waterworld already attracts more than 350,000 visitors a year, but the expansion is expected to lift that figure above the 500,000 mark, as well as creating new jobs.
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